Ordinary Time Week 2: Friday

“When he speaks of a “new” covenant, he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing. ” (Hebrews 8:13)

Saint Bede the Venerable comments on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“For what is the meaning of John’s being born to elderly parents? Was it not to indicate the earthly birth of the one who was soon to follow, since by bringing forward the hidden spiritual mysteries of the new covenant, he would teach that the fleshly observance of the law and the priesthood of the old covenant were now to be brought to an end? For “what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” And what does it mean that our Lord’s precursor came from a father who was mute, a leader of the priests of that time? Is it not that, by the time our Lord appeared, the tongue of the ancient priesthood had to a large extent become mute as regards the spiritual sense of the law’s teaching, since the scribes and those learned in the law were only concerned with teaching the keeping of the letter of the law? Moreover, in a number of instances, they were even falsifying the letter of the law by substituting their own traditions, as is proven by our Lord’s having rebuked them more than once in the Gospels. And what does it mean that he was born to a barren mother? Is it not that the law, which was ordered to beget spiritual issue for God with the help of the priestly office, led no one to perfection, undoubtedly because it was unable to open up the gates of the kingdom to its followers? The author of the law himself, born under the law, took away from the law the opprobrium of its barrenness, for he pointed out that it was to be understood spiritually; and he taught that in it was formerly prefigured and, as it were, conceived, the gift of happiness from on high which now shines out clearly in the gospel.” (Homilies on the Gospels, 2)

Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen